Tyrell loses battle with Batten disease

Tyrell, seen here with his grandmother Jo-Anne and parents, Jade and Gino, suffered severely with Batten disease for four years.

Tyrell Arendse, the seven-year-old boy who bravely battled Batten disease, died in his parents’ arms on Sunday August 20, at 1.38pm.

Tyrell was only three when he was diagnosed with the rare and fatal brain disease. It’s an inherited disorder of the nervous system that usually begins in early childhood (“Family holds on to love and hope”, Tabletalk, September 2, 2015).

Over the years it took Tyrell’s speech, blinded him and caused respiratory complications, among other things.

Earlier this year, nursing sister Amy Howes helped to raise R12 000 for the family who have been drowning in medical debt (“Nurse raises funds for Batten battered family”, Tabletalk, January 25).

Tyrell took his last breath while being held by his parents, Gino and Jade, and grandmother, Jo-Anne, who took care of him around the clock.

“We called all our family to say goodbye. The nurse was there and told us the time was close. When he took his last breath, the nurse placed her stethoscope on his chest and said he’s gone,” said Jade.

Mayor Patricia de Lille met Tyrell two years ago when she donated three months’ supply of PediaSure, a nutrition supplement, to him.

On Monday the mayor expressed her condolences on her Facebook page, asking God to give Tyrell’s family strength and courage during this painful time.

“It was an honour to have met Tyrell and see his beautiful smile and fighting spirit. He was indeed a beautiful boy whose life was short, but I know that he brought much love, joy and meaning to your lives.”

Jade thanked Table View Angels for all their help as well as Tyrell’s doctors, Dr Michelle Meiring, Professor Ronald van Toorn and Dr Graeme Poole, for the excellent care they gave to Tyrell.

Tyrell’s funeral service will be held on Saturday August 26 at the Tabernacle of Praise church in Alexander Street, Parow, at 10.30am.